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HomeBreachedLeaked Passwords, Locked Gateways: Network Operator Credentials Circulate on Dark Web

Leaked Passwords, Locked Gateways: Network Operator Credentials Circulate on Dark Web


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Imagine the chaos if someone gained unauthorized access to the control room of a major city’s traffic lights.

That’s the chilling scenario network operators face with the recent discovery of hundreds of their credentials circulating on the dark web. This alarming breach exposes a critical vulnerability in our digital infrastructure and underscores the urgent need for stronger cybersecurity measures.

The Leaked Landscape:

According to cybersecurity firm Resecurity, over 1,572 compromised customer accounts from four regional internet registries (RIPE NCC, APNIC, AFRINIC, and LACNIC) were identified on underground marketplaces. These accounts include network engineers, data center technicians, and IT infrastructure managers – individuals with privileged access to vital systems.

The Potential Fallout:

The consequences of such a breach can be dire. Attackers armed with network operator credentials could:

  • Disrupt internet traffic: Malicious actors could manipulate routing protocols, causing widespread outages and connectivity disruptions.
  • Launch cyberattacks: Stolen credentials could be used to launch Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks or gain access to sensitive data like user information.
  • Compromise critical infrastructure: Network operators often manage essential infrastructure like power grids and hospitals, making them prime targets for cyberattacks with potentially devastating consequences.

Protecting the Gatekeepers:

So, how can we prevent such breaches and secure the critical systems these network operators manage? Here are 10 actionable steps:

  1. Implement Strong Password Hygiene: Enforce mandatory password complexity, regular password changes, and two-factor authentication for all network operator accounts.
  2. Minimize Privileged Access: Implement the principle of least privilege, granting access to sensitive systems only to those who absolutely need it.
  3. Regularly Monitor Systems: Continuously monitor network activity for suspicious behavior and promptly investigate any anomalies.
  4. Conduct Security Audits: Regularly conduct penetration testing and vulnerability assessments to identify and address potential weaknesses in network security.
  5. Educate Employees: Train network operators on cybersecurity best practices, including phishing awareness and secure password management.
  6. Use Secure Tools and Protocols: Deploy strong encryption protocols and secure network management tools to protect sensitive data and access.
  7. Strengthen Physical Security: Secure physical access to critical infrastructure and network equipment to prevent unauthorized access.
  8. Collaborate and Share Information: Foster industry collaboration and information sharing to track emerging threats and develop coordinated defenses.
  9. Report and Investigate Breaches: Promptly report and investigate any suspicious activity or potential breaches to minimize potential damage.
  10. Advocate for Stronger Regulations: Push for stricter data protection regulations and hold companies accountable for securing network operator credentials.


The circulation of network operator credentials on the dark web serves as a stark reminder of the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape. We must act now to fortify our digital infrastructure and safeguard the critical systems that keep our world connected. By implementing robust cybersecurity measures, fostering awareness, and advocating for responsible security practices, we can build a more resilient digital future where online gatekeepers operate with confidence, not fear.

This issue demands our collective attention and action. Let’s prioritize cybersecurity, share resources, and stand together to build a digital world where trust and security reign supreme.

Ouaissou DEMBELE
Ouaissou DEMBELEhttps://cybercory.com
Ouaissou DEMBELE is an accomplished cybersecurity professional and the Editor-In-Chief of cybercory.com. He has over 10 years of experience in the field, with a particular focus on Ethical Hacking, Data Security & GRC. Currently, Ouaissou serves as the Co-founder & Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Saintynet, a leading provider of IT solutions and services. In this role, he is responsible for managing the company's cybersecurity strategy, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations, and identifying and mitigating potential threats, as well as helping the company customers for better & long term cybersecurity strategy. Prior to his work at Saintynet, Ouaissou held various positions in the IT industry, including as a consultant. He has also served as a speaker and trainer at industry conferences and events, sharing his expertise and insights with fellow professionals. Ouaissou holds a number of certifications in cybersecurity, including the Cisco Certified Network Professional - Security (CCNP Security) and the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), ITIL. With his wealth of experience and knowledge, Ouaissou is a valuable member of the cybercory team and a trusted advisor to clients seeking to enhance their cybersecurity posture.


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